Chapter 41: What a Messy Party

“I…” Gu Qingyu glared angrily at Xie Zang as she stomped her foot. But she changed her demeanor in an instant and said as she cupped her face in feigned embarrassment, “Hey! How would a kind, generous and cute person like myself say something like that! You must have heard wrong, Mister Xie Zang!”

 “Oh? So I’ve misheard this whole time.” Xie Zang gave a meaningful smile.

 “Yes, indeed,” Gu Qingyu scooted close to Jia Qizhe for support. “Is that right, Brother Jia?” 

Jia Qizhe stared at her briefly, then nodded with a smile. “Yes.”

 “And there you have it!” Gu Qingyu clapped. 

 “Kitten, at this rate we’ll reach the sea soon,” Xie Zang smiled. “Do you want to head out to sea today?” 

 The sea?

 “Actually we can fly there directly, right?” Gu Qingyu looked up at a cliff-like landing curiously, “Wouldn’t it be faster to fly?”

 “But you’re not a bird.” Qi Yichen sighed grimly.

 Is this guy implying that I don’t have wings? 

 Gu Qingyu rolled her eyes and took flight. She stopped right on top of Qi Yichen, and snapped back with a sneer, “How’s that, stupid bird!” 

 What even is ‘stupid bird’? And…

 “Do we have to travel by ship to go to Beiying?”

 Jia Qizhe nodded. “We must.”

 If the wandering hero says so, it looks like we really have to find a ship!

 

Gu Qingyu looked at the sky, the sun was slowly sinking below the horizon. “Let’s find a tavern first, we’ll go out to sea tomorrow?”

 “Tavern?” Qi Wan had a smug grin. “I remember I own a tavern around here, you want to take a look, Brother Zhu?”

 Gu Qingyu was surprised. “You have taverns all the way out here?”

 Qi Wan sniggered. “Don’t look so surprised, we can just check it out?”

 “Wait… Are you sure it isn’t a brothel?” Gu Qingyu enquired.

 Qi Wan stiffened, then he held out his hands in defeat. “Fine then, we can just not go.”

 “Who said I’m not going! Let’s go!” Gu Qingyu changed her stance instantly. She dragged Qi Wan by the arm. “Lead the way!”

 “Yes, boss!” Qi Wan walked forward enthusiastically.

 “What a messy party.” Xie Zang commented.

 

They soon reached an extravagant place. Music streamed out of the building, it was light as a veil, and not at all intoxicating, like brothels. The place was filled with a beauty that was untainted by the evils of the world. Gu Qingyu walked in, drawn in by the veiled musicians and dancers.

When they saw Qi Wan, the musicians and dancers stopped and respectfully lowered their heads. “Young Master.”

“Yeah, carry on, we’re resting here just for one night.” Qi Wan imitated Qi Yichen’s style. He even found a fan and waved as he directed the staff of the establishment. 

“Yes, Young Master.” The women carried on with their work. 

“Wow, I really can’t tell that this is yours, Qi Wan!” Gu Qingyu smacked her lips. 

This is no brothel, it clearly is paradise on earth! What a difference to where I first met Qi Wan!

“Yeah, let’s find rooms to rest first, someone will inform us when dinner’s ready. The ships that I built are here too, just rest easy!” Qi Wan seemed really pleased with himself. 

Yeah, a super sweet man that takes care of all your needs, a must-have when travelling.

 

Just as Gu Qingyu was lost in thought, a lady dressed in pink walked over with feather-light steps. “Sir, allow me to lead the way.”  “Okay.” Gu Qingyu nodded and followed her upstairs, all while stealing glances at that lady. 

Damn, we’re both girls but why is there such a big difference!

Qi Wan, who was with her, seemed to have read her mind and whispered quietly in her ear, “If Boss is interested, I can have someone send a pretty dress over?”

Gu Qingyu paused in her steps. It is not a bad idea, I do miss my dresses. Besides, I only dressed as a man to avoid being recognised…  

Gu Qingyu nodded. “Good call. Let’s do that.”

“Boss, for real?” Qi Wan looked at her in disbelief.

“Do I look like I’m joking?” Gu Qingyu retorted.

 

Qi Wan was efficient indeed. Just as they entered the room, the lady in pink brought in a set of clothes in a neat stack. Even though she was hiding it to her best efforts, Gu Qingyu still saw the brief discomfort on her face. 

Well, that’s understandable.

Gu Qingyu thanked her and the lady stepped out. Once she was left alone, Gu Qingyu walked over to the stack of clothes and laid out each piece. One of the dresses was in shades of baby blue, white embroidered flowers adorned the fabric. She would look beautiful in that dress. 

There’s still some time before dinner, how about trying it out? 

Gu Qingyu was a decisive person and changed swiftly. She released her hair, then pulled it into a messy bun using the ribbon that Jia Qizhe gave her. Gu Qingyu did all this gleefully. She was about to check the overall look in front of the mirror, but the door opened suddenly. 

“Zhu…” The person flinched, then blushed. He then quickly closed the door. “Sorry miss, I got the wrong room.”

Murong Zuoyu? Nope, you did not walk into the wrong room. 

Gu Qingyu sighed, she tried to tell him about ‘the wardrobe situation’ but they were interrupted by the last round of assassins!

Murong Zuoyu seemed to have realised that something did not add up, and he doubled back and opened the door again. “Brother Zhu?”

“Hey.” Gu Qingyu answered weakly, “Brother Murong…”

“It is really you?” The shock was written all over Murong Zuoyu’s face.

Gu Qingyu gave a stiff nod. “I wanted to tell you, but those assassins from before…” 

“I know.” Murong Zuoyu’s awkwardness was evident, even his ears had turned pink. 

“Um…Actually, Brother Murong, I hope this doesn’t change things.” Gu Qingyu added in a rush, “My real identity is the Third Daughter of the Gu Family, Gu Qingyu. Of course, I am still Zhu Fan.”

Murong Zuoyu nodded without a word.

“Then… If there’s nothing, can you go back to wait for dinner?” Gu Qingyu asked tentatively. 

“Alright.” Murong Zuoyu turned around stiffly and closed the door on his way out. 

 

Gu Qingyu breathed a sigh of relief, luckily, her real identity was ‘exposed’, so there was now one less thing to worry about. Just then, she heard the door open again. Gu Qingyu turned, “Murong...Jia Qizhe? Why is it you?”

“Surprised to see me?” Jia Qizhe closed the door as he walked in. He took his seat in a chair, still looking somewhat arrogant.

“Nono…” Gu Qingyu sat down too. “I was thinking if I can go back to dressing as a girl.”

“Of course you can if you want to.” Jia Qizhe raised his eyebrows as if he found the question odd. He quickly noticed the ribbon on Gu Qingyu’s hair and his eyes widened, “You kept it?”

Gu Qingyu nodded sheepishly, “Yeah, it was with me this whole time. I just didn’t use it…” Jia Qizhe stood up and circled behind Gu Qingyu.

“Huh? What are you doing?” Before she could finish her sentence, Gu Qingyu felt her hair unravel. 

“It was too ugly.” Jia Qizhe’s tone was tinged with an unmistakable snigger.

Ugly? 

“Hmph.” Gu Qingyu was annoyed with the remark and spoke not a second word.  After a while, Jia Qizhe clapped his hand as he looked at her. “Done!”

“Impressive! Hero Jia, you really know how to tie a lady’s hair!” Gu Qingyu smiled as she got up to find a mirror.

“Boss, I’m here…” His words hung in mid-air.

Gu Qingyu turned to Qi Wan, who had waltzed into the room, “Hey, do I look good? I’ve not checked yet.”

Qi Wan nodded. “You look absolutely gorgeous!”

Gorgeous? Is that so? Qi Wan is practically surrounded by beautiful ladies, to think he actually called her gorgeous? 

Gu Qingyu rushed to the mirror and was shocked as well. 

 

“It’s brilliant!” Gu Qingyu gasped at the reflection of herself. The light blue dress fitted her like a glove, as it was tailored to her. The white flowers complemented her complexion. Her hair was held up and secured by an ornate wooden hairpin.

“A hairpin?” Gu Qingyu hesitated.

Jia Qizhe’s charming voice rang out. “Don’t you like these kinds of things?”

I do but this is too scary! I could poke someone’s eyes out with this! 

“What I made is so much better than the kind they sell in the shops.” Jia Qizhe commented, his finger tapped on his sword out of habit, all while he stared at Qi Wan. 

Qi Wan felt something was wrong and stuttered, “Ah! B-Boss! Your clothes are beautiful but your hair is even more beautiful!”

"Oh, is that so?” Gu Qingyu nodded, she believed him. “Sigh, you innocent child, you’re too honest!”

The ‘honest’ Qi Wan nodded. “Yes! I think so too! We can go for dinner now, I came here to inform you all!” Then, he bolted out of the room. 


“Yes, I’m going to awe everyone out there!” Gu Qingyu made her way to the door. Right before she could wrap her hand around the door handle, Jia Qizhe pulled her back with a jerk. 

“What?” Gu Qingyu was confused.

Their eyes met. “Change.” Jia Qizhe’s tone was firm and unwavering.

Change?

“Why?” Gu Qingyu asked indignantly.

“No questions.” Jia Qizhe’s lips twitched, “Or would you prefer if I helped?”

“Get out!” Gu Qingyu shouted as she glowered. “Go, I’ll change!”

Jia Qizhe calmly walked out. “Keep the hairpin, it will come in handy.” 

Gu Qingyu shot him a cold look, then let her hair down, then changed her clothes and hair, “Jeez, didn’t you just say that I can go back to my dresses whenever I want to? Men are really fickle creatures!”

Jia Qizhe, who was waiting for her right outside, winced. Fickle creatures? Seriously…

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